Liberty and Olive

This month I’ve made two Olive tops from a Liberty print provided by Minerva Crafts. Olive is my favourite peplum with two different sleeves.

The print was my choice to pair with the work gear I’ve made using Minerva Crafts fabrics this year. It’s a strong print and an equally strong cotton fabric.’

I’ll say the obvious – Liberty fabric is lovely to sew, wear, wash and iron. It’s a real treat for me.

Olive is a work/party peplum from Lolita Patterns that I’ve tested and sewn before so I knew this would be the pattern for this print would work.

I originally made these tops about 6 weeks ago and in that time I’ve been doing weights – and it shows through the tightness in the back of these tops.

Oh well. It’s back to the drawing board and size up on the next Olive top I make.

Wardrobe collection choice
Working a full time job means I have to make work clothes that work together. The pieces I’ve been making with the support of Minerva Crafts has helped me develop some easy, tailored pieces that have refreshed my Winter work clothes.

These pieces have green in them and I’ve tried to bring in strong colours to look cohesive.

I wouldn’t have picked a ‘floral’ with a ‘plaid’ but I think this experiment has worked for me.

Olive has a pleated peplum that doesn’t seem too frivolous, so it’s my ‘go to work’ top.

The cap sleeve version is earmarked for weekend wear. I’ve taken the cap sleeve pattern from New Look 6808.
I’m wearing the cap sleeve version with my Minerva Crafts jeans, made last year.

I made this Liberty fabric go further by using a similar plain fabric for the facings.

The piping adds a bit of interest along the seams and neckline too. 

The dark green piping works well on the cap sleeve version.

The hem of the cap sleeve version is finished with the bias so it will show if I’m reaching for files from a tall shelf etc.

I’ve got some lovely pieces that have refreshed my Winter work clothes this year.

Unlike a button front shirt, the side zipper on this blouse means, the buttons won’t pop open. The side zipper is also easier for me to reach than a zipper on the centre back seam.

This pattern has 3/8″ seams so it’s an easy pattern to whip up on an overlocker.

So with all those good aspects, I’ll keep using this pattern and adjusting the size to suit my changing shape.

Memory lane

Gold sequin lace

I finally found the time to use this remnant from Minerva Crafts with Olive pattern by Lolita patterns. 

The original Gold logies dress made from this gold sequin lace fabric last year is so lovely to wear. I wore this dress to a function recently so it was time to use this fabric one more time. 
Here’s the original dress worn last year,

While it’s Winter here, we had some warmer weather so I tried on the pink floral versionfor work and found it still fits nicely. The v-neck change I made is my favourite. Then I made the pattern up twice in again and decided it was time to finally use this sequin lace fabric. I couldn’t find my original test pattern so I had to re-trace my pattern pieces to fit from the final printed pattern.

The seams are 3/8” wide so the seams are overlocked. My original dress also has overlocked seams and when I wore it again, as it felt so lovely, it was easy to decide to use the same seam finish.

This lace does move quite a bit so I cut out the lining layers first and then used these as my pattern template over the lace. 

When sewing this top together I used the underlining as my seam guide and adjusted the lace as I went along.

I used paper scissors to cut the sequin lace fabric. The sequins are sewn on in swirls so while the carpet did sparkle a bit as I sewed; there wasn’t a torrent of sequins. I’m still finding a sequin here and there in my sewing room.

The selvege on this fabric has a lovely lace finish to it was, so I placed the sleeve hem and peplum hem on it so I could make the most of this feature.  

I made sure the lace finish was lower than the pattern hems.

I tried to use the rolled hem foot on the interlining hems but the result was really bad so I ironed the hems finely and then sewed these using a normal sewing foot.

I can pair this top with jeans or an evening skirt.

I’ll show you the two earlier tops soon. I used Liberty art fabric from Minerva Crafts.

Olive: v-neckline

Remember this olive Olive? Lolita patterns newest pattern with a gorgeous peplum.

Here’s how I developed a v-neckline on Olive.

See how the neckline is a wide-ish curve? 

I checked the v-neckline depth I wanted by looking in the mirror and measuring to where I wanted the neckline to end.
Then I folded the pattern at the V point and graduated it to the shoulder line. There was no science to this v-neckline.
Then I took the easy route and created a front neck facing. I do love the facings created for Olive more than my own facings. They sit well and don’t ‘flip out’. 
Here’s my simple back neck facing.

The rest was easy because I’d made this once before and this cotton print was great to work with.  
Adding piping is an additional construction step and a design challenge.
My fabric stash has started to sprout Liberty/floral type fabrics.

And the best way to bring up the style lines with these florals seems to be by adding piping. 
On wearing this version, I think the next version will have a lower v-neckline. 

This v-neckline depth will remain for future ‘work-Olives’.

The peplum still sits flat and the sleeve detailing is still lovely. No ruffles this time because the print was ‘Lolita’ enough for my style.
And Olive is fun to wear.

There are a few more tips for making Olive on the Lolita patterns page.
Serger tips and working with light weight fabrics
Adjusting the bust
Prepping the back and waistband



Lolita patterns has launched Olive and she has the signature Lolita ruffles and soft features. 


Why wear plain corporate styles all the time when you can soften it with a little detailing.

This fabric is soft and ruffles nicely. Not sure where I bought this rayon fabric from but olive for Olive seemed fitting.

The design change I made to Olive was draft in a V-neckline on Version 2 and added the sleeve ruffle from version 1. You can mix it up anyway that suits your style.

Close up
What do you think about the peplum? The folds sit against my body instead of sticking out.

The sleeve pleats are easy to achieve. Three tiny pleats on both front and back of the sleeve cap.

Adjustments – same as always
Sway back adjustment and roll shoulder adjustment.
The body lengths were spot on. The sleeve length is just a touch short but the right length for the ruffles. These ruffles were fun to make. 

A bit different
I’ve sewn in the side zipper just short of the peplum hem so I could finish the hem using the roll hem foot and not have to negotiate the zipper tape bulk.

Olive in real life
Here’s how I wore Olive to work yesterday. It stood the ‘all-day’ test. Yes, it was comfortable to wear.

I know this is a great top. My colleagues confirmed it. Even the ruffle feature!

Olive fits in nicely with the Minerva work wardrobe I’ve created courtesy of Minerva Crafts UK.

Lolita patternsThanks for including me in the pattern testing stage Amity. She’s always very accommodating to pattern test for.

This month, take a look at more Olives made by: 

There are a few posts now for making Olive fit you well.
Serger tips and working with light weight fabrics
Adjusting the bust
Prepping the back and waistband

Olive is now available for sale! And the timing is perfect because Amity is offering a 15% off all physical patterns sale going on right now for Sewing Indie Month…and that includes Olive! Just use coupon code sewing15indie and the discount will show in your cart. 

There’s a two pack offer as well if you’ve been putting off buying a Lolita pattern – until now.

Have you see my Spring Olive yet?